The Pekin duck is the most popular farm and commercial meat duck breed in the United States. They are more prominently raised than any other breed of duck breed in the entire world. The Chinese were among the first cultures to domesticate Mallard Ducks as a source of eggs and meat, and were developed through years of selective breeding.
The first Pekin ducks brought to the United States were found in their namesake town of Peking, China, what is now known as Beijing. They were first brought to the United States in 1873, and the Pekin Duck was admitted in to the newly formed American Poultry Association in 1874.
What Makes the Pekin Duck so Popular?
They are the most common domestic duck and probably the most notable and recognizable as well. Pekins are an extremely hardy breed with a high level of fertility and excellent hatchability. As pets, Pekin Ducks have a calm demeanor and relaxed temperament, providing great entertainment and socialization. They are the most common duck breed raised for pets. The Pekin is a large, rapidly growing duck, with excellent feed conversion. This makes them an ideal duck to raise for its meat. Not only a great meat bird, the Pekin is also an exceptional layer of large eggs. They are a relatively easy breed of duck to raise for pet, and are also an excellent food source for eggs and meat.
Pekin Ducks are cute and fuzzy yellow ducklings, and large pure white adult ducks. They are used commonly in cinema and advertising, as you may recognize the breed as the Aflac duck in commercials. With all white plumage, Pekins have a bright orange colored beak that will begin to fade in the females while in egg production. As Pekin Ducks age they can often develop black speckles or splotches on their bills. This is normal and not a sign of sickness.
Pekins are an excellent choice for a first time duck owner. Additionally, the small farmer or self-sustaining restaurant owner may raise these ducks for their substantial meat and egg production.